Mike Golic Jr. Heads the Class of Steeler UDFA's. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Steelers Campfire: It Takes Two to Make a Thing Go Right


NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers-Rookie Minicamp

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers-Rookie Minicamp

Rookie Minicamp is now in the books from Southside Pennsylvania, but what can be reasonably gleaned from only two days of open media scrutiny?  Without any competition versus NFL-level talent yet, are there any inklings from these rookie first-looks that the Steelers will benefit from their Draft (and undrafted) selections to make things go right (and outta sight) in 2013?

SPEED IS SPECIAL

But skills kills.  Or, something like that…. Markus Wheaton, out of needs and necessity and out of what looks to be a solid skill set (solid route-runner, good hands, great work ethic, etc.) will likely provide the most immediate Rookie impact.  It will be interesting to see how he is ultimately positioned in Haley’s Offense: inside at Slot or outside WR opposite Brown (or both), with Emmanuel Sanders remaining at his pre-2013 position as the slot.  Regardless, Wheaton looks like he will certainly get worked.

What does appear to be special, is Special Teams.  Danny Smith drew a collective Coaching audience from Tomlin, Lake, Butler and LeBeau while operating some rather spirited Special Teams drills.  Let’s hope that carries over with guys on the eventual roster, and during the Season.  This area is a bruise on Tomlin’s resume, and it needs to be fixed, immediately.

SHARK ATTACK

Shamarko “Shark” Thomas is my personal favorite pick of this Draft class.  If his hips prove fluid enough (they look a little stiff to me) to turn into coverage of slippery slots and torturous Tight Ends, this is a playmaker.  Shamarko is a punisher in pads, Pittsburgh style. Really looking forward to Coach Lake‘s development of this kid; physically, he is an imposing dude.  And, can we get some love for the job Carnell has done with the Secondary in Pittsburgh? Outstanding job, Coach!

DOES SIZE MATTER?

“Small” has been a recurring adjective thus far: Jarvis Jones‘ build is markedly contrastive to that of a LaMarr Woodley and Jason Worilds, or even the departed James Harrision for that matter.  Even Le’Veon Bell‘s 230 but could play

at 244-lb. frame passes the eye test as “smaller than you’d think”, but reports are he’s showing nimble feet and sure hands.  Wheaton is also “small”, but we knew that.  Landry Jones apparently isn’t as Texas-sized as his namesake, either, but if he doesn’t perform any better than his first-look with a Steelers helmet on, a sizable amount of press will continue surrounding this Draft pick.

QUARTERBACK CONTROVERSY

We’re not talking about Landry Jones as a project to replace Big Ben here, regardless of Charlie Batch’s assertions to that effect. The most loved pick to opine about, Jones has not looked sharp at all.  I don’t care about learning new terminology or having different protection schemes – any drafted QB should be able to hit open receivers in a padless practice; I would expect even the backup QB out of North Allegheny to throw “relative strikes” in three-quarter speed drills.  Ones that can’t, shouldn’t be drafted, and sure as shucks shouldn’t be a 4th Rounder. Also, if I hear one more time the clearly codified and rehearsed media response from Tomlin and Fichtner (or anyone else) that Landry is “a really sharp guy to add to the classroom“? I’m interested in what he adds on the field, not in a room.

LOVE ME LATELY

Late round picks seem to work out for the Steelers.  Look for Terry Hawthorne (5th Round) and Nick Williams (7th Round) to make the eventual roster.

UDFA’s

Mike Golic, Jr. has gotten the most props within our crop of undrafted free agents; while also referred to as “small” he is known as a big competitor (having an NFL Dad would motivate me, too), which could potentially help up front where, at least at this time of writing, the Steelers are woefully thin on the depth chart.

Yup, a slow media day for sure, but hey, just be glad I didn’t delve humorously into Opening Game opening act Darius Rucker.



Tags: Steelers 2013 Draft

  • Scot Hickerson

    Hey Wooten Chill out on Landry Jones.. You will make yourself out to be an idiot later on. A lot of this is Based on that one reporter who was there. Where you there? How many passes went incomplete? How do you define not looking sharp at all? The video I saw showed Landry completing passes just fine. You obviously don’t llke the Jones pick and are trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill. So all the people who didn’t like the pick for feel he may be a threat to Ben can say see I told you so.Give me a break.. I bet Ben didn’t look any better at his rookie camp. No matter how good you are as a QB you wont be perfect in the Rookie camp situation with New receivers who don’t know what they are doing either. Jones could have thrown the ball where the receiver was supposed to be but wasn’t. QB’s and receivers working together for the first time need time to get their timing down. Especially when everyone just got the play book. When Jones learns the play book and gets used to his receivers he will look very Sharp. The Last three years Jones completed 64.8 of his 1734 passes. I bet that was higher that Ben.. Jones threw 1000 yards more than Ben did in his 13 games last year. Jones is very accurate and has a great arm. He has been too good for two long to all of the sudden be terrible. Jones will be great on the field. Stop with “the sharp guy to add to the room” Jones is very Smart and has a lot to offer in the new shorter offense based on what OU did.. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a no huddle hurry up next year.Did you watch the Gruden video. The “clip Board” part of the Job of a backup and reading defenses and helping the starting QB with protections and advice.. Tomlin is saying Jones is capable of that. Jones will the back up and will play this year count on it.

    • JWoo

      I’m sure Ben looked worse at his Rookie mini; were you there?

      • Scot Hickerson

        Actually I was, no not really. JK I didn’t say Ben was worse I said I bet he wasn’t perfect. IT’s three quarter speed in shorts and with two QB’s Landry threw a Huge Volume of throws over the three days. Landry throws it as hard as he has too and doesn’t throw his arm out. I say let the kid Learn the play book and and get timing down with his receivers before people call him a 3rd string failure. He is being picked apart now by people who were threatened by what Batch Said.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002678229982 Joe Falco

    Scot hickerson…LOVE THAT AVATAR! Don’t tread on the USA!

    • Scot Hickerson

      Thanks it was the battle flag of the Revolutionary war and the Boston Tea Party.

  • Michael Nichols

    The more I hear about Wheaton, the more I like the pick. Its very possible he’ll develop into being the best player (for us) to come out of this draft class, but I think Bell will likely make the biggest immediate impact. That’s not a statement on his skill set necessarily, but more so that he’ll likely be given more opportunities right away and, as we all know, its generally easier for a RB to step into the NFL and make an immediate impact. WR, by the nature of the position, just takes longer to develop.
    I don’t know how Landry Jones will pan out, but I do know he’ll be one of the more heavily scrutinized picks to come out of this class. Feels like an all or nothing pick to me and Colbert and Co will either be labeled geniuses or fools for this pick.

    • Scot Hickerson

      Landry will pan out Even if he is Traded in a few years. He is really good.